Category → Everybody Loves Kim English
ORLANDO – The look on Kim English’s face on Tuesday said it all.
The second-year guard struggled on both sides of the ball, missing five of eight attempts and being one of the many Pistons’ defenders victimized by Oklahoma City guard Reggie Jackson late in the 79-75 loss.
He still has two more summer league games this week to get things back on track, but as the struggles mount and the week progresses, the possibility that English’s contract won’t be renewed on Saturday is real.
And he knows what’s at stake.
“I’m just playing. I think I’ll be in this league a long time with my ability to shoot the ball and defend,” English said. “I’m just staying in the moment and (I’ll) keep playing.”
It’s been well-documented here that English — despite his on-court shortcomings — is an enjoyable personality to have. He was a four-year player at Missouri, and he’s a professional. It’s good to have those guys around a locker room, but at the same time, you need to parlay that off-court positive into something on the court, too.
He’s struggled with his shot basically since being drafted — making just 28 percent from 3-point range last season — and through three summer league games he’s shot just 5-for-23 from the field; including an ice-cold 3-for-13 showing from deep.
With fellow 2012 second-round pick Khris Middleton out with a right ankle injury, English had his big chance to impress against the Thunder. Plain and simple, he struggled, openly taking the blame for Jackson’s outburst in the fourth quarter, which wasn’t fully on him.
But he’s still focused on the present — not the future.
“Just going out and playing,” English said. “I don’t really take stock in anything other than this quarter or this possession or this game. Everything else is really out of my control.”
The signing of Italian sharp-shooter Luigi Datome on Tuesday could represent the proverbial writing on the wall for English, but no matter what it means, he’s not shaken by the thought of becoming a free agent in the next week.
“I’m a little different than the average human, I guess,” English said. “If I’m playing great or if I’m playing awful, I’m always thinking about what’s next. That’s the nature of the NBA — next play, next game, what you do next is what makes you.”
The fans stood as he was introduced, and in the return to the arena he called home for nearly a decade, Tayshaun Prince made his first appearance in Detroit as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies. As the teams met at centercourt before tip, Prince laughed as he appeared exchange conversation with his former teammates.
He didn’t do much on the court — scoring just four points on 2-for-7 shooting — but he walked away on the victorious side and saw his former team basically roll over. It was exactly why fans should be happy for Prince. It’s tough to see someone of his stature within the culture of the Pistons leave, but when you see where the Pistons and Grizzlies are at right now, you have to be happy for him.
|Jason Maxiell, PF 20 MIN | 2-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 4 PTS | -9He was a non-factor on offense. Actually, he wasn’t even close to being a factor and his jump shot is becoming increasingly colder than a Michigan winter. Just bad, bad, bad — but what’s new with you guys?|
|Greg Monroe, C 27 MIN | 4-9 FG | 1-1 FT | 6 REB | 2 AST | 1 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 9 PTS | -9He was relatively productive considering he was banging with Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol all game, but the train really went off the tracks when he sat in the second quarter. Once he came back, the Grizzlies had seized momentum and it may have been too little too late… in the second quarter, that’s what kind of night it was.|
|Jose Calderon, PG 30 MIN | 4-9 FG | 0-0 FT | 1 REB | 7 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 10 PTS | -10When the Pistons were clicking in the first quarter, it was because Calderon and Monroe were working the Grizzlies with pick-and-rolls. Then, the Grizzlies took control in the second quarter and, well, everything went to hell.|
|Brandon Knight, PG 26 MIN | 5-11 FG | 0-0 FT | 5 REB | 1 AST | 1 STL | 0 BLK | 2 TO | 13 PTS | -20He had a GREAT first quarter, exactly what you want to see from him. He was decisive, aware and knew exactly what he wanted. But, that was one quarter and one quarter only. Knight started 4-of-5 shooting in the first, but finished by missing five of his next six. Yuck.|
|Kyle Singler, SG 22 MIN | 3-7 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 7 PTS | -9Singler rarely has bad games. He’s always average, slightly above average or slightly below. He’s kind of like a minor TV character, say, Al Rosen on Cheers — he’s always there, always doing something, but rarely does anything that has a memorable impact on the actual surrounding events.|
|Charlie Villanueva, PF 17 MIN | 1-8 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 0 AST | 2 STL | 2 BLK | 0 TO | 2 PTS | -17I’m not sure who was worse, Villanueva or Maxiell. Can I just make a plea for Andre Drummond’s back to please get better as soon as possible. Also an underrated storyline is that he lost the battle of former Pistons’ BFFs to Austin Daye, who scored six points to Charlie V’s four.|
|Jonas Jerebko, PF 11 MIN | 5-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 2 REB | 4 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 13 PTS | +12This is how Jerebko looked before tearing his achilles three years ago. He was active, he was effective and he was a ball of energy. Granted, most of that production came with the game well out of reach, but it’s still progress from a guy who’s struggling.|
|Khris Middleton, SF 9 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 0 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +10Middleton played a couple minutes and had a pair of dunks. That’s about the most we’ve been able to type about him this season.|
|Viacheslav Kravtsov, C 21 MIN | 4-5 FG | 0-3 FT | 4 REB | 1 AST | 0 STL | 1 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -5Kravtsov was a part of the (end of the) bench brigade that clawed to make the final score more respectable in the fourth quarter tonight. He had a nice alley-oop from Will Bynum in the first half, but still didn’t look totally confident/aware on defense. He’s still a project, but tonight was a career night.|
|Will Bynum, PG 18 MIN | 2-7 FG | 1-2 FT | 0 REB | 2 AST | 2 STL | 0 BLK | 3 TO | 5 PTS | -4In recent weeks, we’ve seen much more of the inconsistently brilliant then mind-numbing Bynum from past years. With rumors of a possible trade to Oklahoma City floating around, let’s hope Sam Presti wasn’t paying attention tonight.|
|Rodney Stuckey, PG 23 MIN | 2-4 FG | 4-4 FT | 1 REB | 3 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 1 TO | 8 PTS | -20None of the main bench cogs looked great tonight, but Stuckey looked the best. Most of his statistical production came during a time where Memphis was leading by 25-plus, though. So, basically, it was your average nondescript Stuckey game.|
|Kim English, SG 16 MIN | 3-5 FG | 0-0 FT | 4 REB | 5 AST | 0 STL | 0 BLK | 0 TO | 6 PTS | +11I made the joke tonight that English has nestled nicely into the role of Lawrence Frank’s proverbial white flag or victory cigar on appropriate nights. Tonight, however, he played pretty well. The defense is still shaky, but tonight was a good night for him.|
|Lawrence FrankThere were so many shots of Frank standing on the sideline shaking his head in disgust. That’s just the kind of night it was — a complete head shaker. The Grizzlies weren’t going to play as poorly as they did in the first quarter all game and the same goes for how well the Pistons played. There was nothing he could do tonight, but props for playing the end of the bench basically all fourth quarter; they could have easily rolled over along with the rotation guys, but they fought hard to make the final score less embarrassing.|
Pistons rookie Kim English used his All-Star Break to check out his college team, Missouri, play Arkansas. Unfortunately, the Tigers lost a tough road game, and English got caught by ESPN cameras with a not so enthused reaction to what was happening on the court:
English tweeted the screen grab with the following caption, “I need to control my faces better. Lol. Kinda wear my emotions on my sleeve.” Happens to the best of us when watching our college teams lose, Kim. Just ask Feldman.
Coolest part of the screenshot: English has Middleton saved in his phone under ‘Kris.’ Kudos to English for recognizing the atypical spelling and not going with just “Chris,” but even though he spelled correctly in the text, I’ve got to dock English points for only coming close.
Also, I hope English found an outlet somewhere. His battery is mighty low.
I didn’t go to the Draft! So here is my draft night hand shake. 7 months later
He also linked this photo with NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver, who announces second-round picks:
This is just another reminder why Patrick created an “Everybody Loves Kim English” category for this site.
WASHINGTON – Kim English, on his way from getting up a few early shots or doing whatever players do 90 before games, jogged down a Verizon Center hallway back to the Pistons locker room Saturday. As English turned one entranceway too soon, a Wizards event staff member alerted him to the error – then said he’d send English back the wrong way once the game began, his way of giving the hometown team an edge.
“I don’t play,” English yelled back, his tone more humorous than resentful.
The event staff member reminded English that plenty of benchwarmers get their chance against the Wizards – who’d lost six straight, including the Pistons’ 100-68 win Friday.
“You’re right,” English said. “I played last night.”
“Looking at Kim, especially coming back home, opportunity mainly to play in front of family and friends,” Frank said.
Of course, English didn’t play Saturday. He doesn’t play most games.
As an NBA player, English is pretty unremarkable. He was a second-round pick, and most second-round picks don’t last. On the court, aside from his 47 percent 3-point shooting in an extremely small sample, there’s little evidence he’ll stick in the league. Even as an ordinary prospect, he’s unremarkable. There are 70 others who’ve been good enough to play an NBA minute this season but have played less than English.
What makes English stand out, though, is his likability.
He grew up in Baltimore with a girl’s name and a stutter, but that just hardened him. As did his summers at his father’s construction company. From the time he was about 12 until he went to college, he poured concrete for English Concrete Contractors.
“It was labor. Definitely hard work,” English said. “It gives you an appreciation that there’s people out there that do that for a living. It takes this and puts it perspective.”
Unfortunately, English might need that perspective. Next to Austin Daye, no Piston has a more tenuous spot in the NBA than English, whose contract is fully unguaranteed for next season
It would be easy to end this post by saying English will make it as an NBA player, adding some cliché that English’s resolve is as solid as the concrete he poured.
But, in the NBA, it doesn’t always work that way. Sometimes, likeable players don’t make it. Sometimes, small disappointments like not playing in front of hometown fans develop into big disappointments like losing a roster spot.
There’s no grand narrative here – just a player I’m still hoping will, and very well could, succeed, but might not.
David Mayo of MLive and Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News both have stories on Kim English today, and both are filled with the types of quotes we’ve all come to love from English. This one from Goodwill’s story was the best:
“I’m elated,” English said of Singler’s starting role. “We work out together. I’m thrilled to see him take this opportunity and run with it and have a great rookie year.”
Kyle Singler is starting for the Pistons mainly because Rodney Stuckey crashed and burned as the team’s starting shooting guard and the Pistons needed a perimeter shooter in their starting lineup desperately. English is 50 percent of his 3-point attempts on the season. He’s a natural shooting guard who has had good moments in the preseason and in the handful of regular season games he got to play in. Last most of us saw of Singler, when he was in college at Duke, dude was a power forward. English could’ve very easily been jealous or felt like, since he’s actually a shooting guard and all and also happened to play decently in spot minutes, maybe he should’ve got that first opportunity at a starting spot and big minutes. Instead, he’s ‘ecstatic’ for his teammate’s newly found position and solid production.
Seriously Lawrence Frank, find some minutes for English. (Hint: It shouldn’t be hard. Most of your guards have played awful this season.)
It has been a while since we’ve had a chance to sing the praises of lovable Pistons rookie Kim English, what with him disappearing from the rotation despite making 47 percent of his 3-point attempts and playing solid perimeter defense. Thankfully, Detroit Bad Boys writer, friend of PistonPowered and unabashed Kim English fan Sean Corp pointed me to this comment on DBB, which certainly qualifies for our ELKE series:
Hey guys, I was at the game yesterday sitting about 15 rows behind the Pistons bench. There was an awesome sequence I wanted to write about. During crunch time towards the end of the fourth quarter, there was a great play where Monroe left his man and came out to help and whoever the Raptors guard was that was being double teamed passed it to whoever Monroe left and Drummond anticipated this and accordingly rotated and had a very very huge steal that led to our win.
What’s great about this was about 1 minute before this happened, Kim English who was sitting on the floor with Charlie V, randomly got up and went to talk to the coaching staff very animatedly. My friends and I were joking about it. Well, RIGHT after Drummond made this play, Kim English SPRUNG from the floor and literally went and high-fived the coaching staff. He was so excited it was cool to see that whatever he said had an impact on the game.
— Kim English (@Englishscope24) November 6, 2012
We’ve written a few times about all of the love for Kim English over the past few months since the Pistons drafted him, and since there is little positive to write about right now, we might as well keep going with it. Here are a couple more reasons showing why he’s so easy to like. Via Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press:
Late in the Pistons’ 108-79 loss to the Lakers, Kim English got tangled with Kobe Bryant and the rookie was whistled for the foul.
Bryant looked at English, patted him on the back and told him to keep playing hard.
And via Steve Finamore, the basketball coach at East Lansing High School (and a great basketball guy to follow if you’re on Twitter):
— Steve Finamore (@CoachFinamore) November 5, 2012